Are you a procrastinator? Were you the kid that would study for a big test the night before and get homework done on the way to school? It’s nothing to be proud of, but we all have our moments of procrastination. Here’s a simple little life hack to stop procrastinating and getting stuff done. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how much more productive this will make you.
Make a To-Do List
To-Do lists stop procrastination better than anything else I know. Get out a piece of paper and a pen, or download a free app on your phone and make out your list. Start by jotting down everything you need to get done today. As you work your way through each item on your list, cross it off. Stay disciplined. It’s a great feeling, isn’t it?
This simple way of doing it will make a huge difference, but we can do even better. Here are some easy tips to help you make the most of your to-do list:
- Write your list the night before. You’ll be ready to get going first thing in the morning.
- Do something quick and easy first. Get it done and cross it off the list. This will set the tone for your entire day.
- Avoid tasks that take hours to complete. Instead break them up into smaller chunks or baby steps that you can get done and cross off.
- Work on more difficult tasks earlier in the day while you have the energy to get through them. Save the easy stuff for late afternoon when possible.
There’s one more “rule” and it’s the most important one. Do not stop until you’ve crossed every single item of your to-do list. Get everything done you possibly can. Yes, it’s not always possible to do what you set out to do today because you’re waiting on a part to ship or a report from a colleague. It’s fine to move a task to another day when there’s a valid reason. Aside from that though, keep working until each item on your daily to-do list is crossed off.
Here’s your assignment for the next few days:
Before you go to bed at night, make a to-do list for the next day. Check items off the list as you get them accomplished. Add to your list as needed, but make sure you get everything on the list done before you go to bed at night.
It only takes a few days to get in the habit of just getting stuff done. Stick to your to-do list to keep procrastination at bay.
This post is part of our 1 thing series. Watch for more post that show up as part of this series. Please post your comments about whether you completed the coaching assignment or not and what you learned.
Sean McCarthy is a Certified Business Coach and the Founder of Loveland, CO -based Colorado Coaching Company. Coaching can take place in person, over the phone or online. If you need help growing your business, shifting your mindset, call or email Sean at (970) 541-1099 or [email protected] to schedule your initial strategy session.